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Rep. Dennis Kucinich: “Wake Up America!”

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Former presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich delivered one of the most passionate addresses Tuesday night. “Wake up, America! We went into Iraq for oil. The oil companies want more,” Kucinich said. “War against Iran will mean $10-a-gallon gasoline. The oil administration wants to drill more, into your wallet. Wake up, America! Weapons contractors want more. An Iran war will cost $5 to $10 trillion.” [includes rush transcript]

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Here in Denver, Senator Hillary Clinton delivered her highly anticipated convention speech at the Pepsi Center on Tuesday night. As she took to the stage, Clinton received a standing ovation from the thousands of delegates packed into the convention hall. In her address, Clinton endorsed Barack Obama and called on her supporters to unite behind him in November. Her speech came on the eve of the delegate roll call, in which Obama is expect to be nominated, officially ending her bid to become the first female presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. It also marked the eighty-eighth anniversary of women’s suffrage.

    SEN. HILLARY CLINTON: I’m a United States senator, because in 1848 a group of courageous women, and a few brave men, gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women’s rights in our history. And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last seventy-two years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter, and a few sons and grandsons along the way.

    These women and men looked into their daughters’ eyes and imagined a fairer and freer world and found the strength to fight, to rally, to picket, to endure ridicule and harassment and brave violence and jail.

    And after so many decades — eighty-eight years ago on this very day — the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote, became enshrined in our Constitution. My mother was born before women could vote. My daughter got to vote for her mother for president.

    This is the story of America, of women and men who defy the odds and never give up. So how do we give this country back to them? By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her life to bring slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad. On that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice: If you hear the dogs, keep going; if you see the torches in the woods, keep going; if they’re shouting after you, keep going; don’t ever stop; keep going; if you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

    And even in the darkest moments, that is what Americans have done. We have found the faith to keep going. I have seen it. I have seen it in our teachers and our firefighters, our police officers, our nurses, our small business owners and our union workers. I’ve seen it in the men and women of our military. In America, you always keep going. We’re Americans. We’re not big on quitting.

    And remember, before we can keep going, we’ve got to get going by electing Barack Obama the next president of the United States.

AMY GOODMAN: Hillary Rodham Clinton addressing the Democratic National Convention on the second night. The most passionate speech, one of those passionate speeches Tuesday night, was delivered by former presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, the Democratic Congress member from Ohio.

    REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Wake up, America! In 2001, the oil companies, the war contractors and the neocon artists seized the economy and added $4 trillion of unproductive spending to the national debt. We now pay four times more for defense, three times more for gasoline and home heating oil and twice what we paid for healthcare.

    Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, their healthcare, their pensions. Trillions of dollars for an unnecessary war paid for with borrowed money. Tens of billions of dollars in cash and weapons disappeared into thin air, at the cost of the lives of our troops and innocent Iraqis, while all the President’s oilmen are maneuvering to grab Iraq’s oil.

    Borrowed money to bomb bridges in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. No money to rebuild bridges in America. Money to start a hot war with Iran. Now we have another cold war with Russia. And the American economy has become a game of Russian roulette.

    Now, if there were an Olympics for misleading, mismanaging and misappropriating, this administration would take the gold. World records, world records for violations of national and international law. They want another four-year term to continue to alienate our allies, spend our children’s inheritance and hollow out the economy. We cannot afford another Republican administration.

    Wake up, America! The insurance companies took over healthcare. Wake up, America! The pharmaceutical companies took over drug pricing. Wake up, America! The speculators took over Wall Street. Wake up, America! They want your Social Security. Wake up, America! Multinational corporations took over our trade policies. Factories are closing. Good paying jobs are being lost.

    Wake up, America! We went into Iraq for oil. The oil companies want more. War against Iran will mean $10-a-gallon gasoline. The oil administration, they want to drill more, into your wallet. Wake up, America! Contractors want more. Those war contractors want more. An Iran war will cost $5 to $10 trillion.

    Now, this administration can tap our phones. They can’t tap our creative spirit. They can open our mail. But they can’t open economic opportunities. They can track our every move. But they lost track of the economy while the cost of food, gasoline and electricity skyrockets. Now, they have skillfully played our post-9/11 fears, and they’ve allowed the few to profit at the expense of the many. Every day, we get the color orange, while the oil companies, the insurance companies, the speculators, the war contractors get the color green. Wake up, America!

    Now, this is not a call for you to take a new direction from right to left. This is a call for you to go from down to up. Up with the rights of workers! Up with wages! Up with fair trade! Up with creating millions of good paying jobs, rebuilding our bridges, our water systems, our sewer systems, our ports! Up with creating millions of sustainable energy jobs to lower the cost of energy, lower carbon emissions and protect the environment! Up with healthcare for all! Up with education for all! Up with home ownership! Up with guaranteed retirement benefits! Up with peace! Up with prosperity! Up with the Democratic Party! Up with Obama-Biden!

    Wake up, America! Wake up, America! Wake up, America!

    AMY GOODMAN: Ohio Congress member Dennis Kucinich and former presidential hopeful, addressing the Democratic convention on the second night.

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